We fight for a society without class exploitation and oppression. Where decisions about what to produce, and how to produce and distribute it, are made democratically. We want to build a world where everyone has a right to food, healthcare, a good home, an enriching education, and a union job that pays well. We think this kind of world is necessary for people to live rich and creative lives — and to be truly free.
The world we live in violates any reasonable standard of justice and decency. A tiny number of rich and powerful families lives off of the profits they make from trashing the environment and underpaying, overworking, and cheating the vast majority of society — the working class. They get richer precisely because the rest of us get poorer.
For decades, we've been told what we can't have: A decent living, a home of your own, a comfy retirement — in short, a meager share in our society's immense collective wealth. We believe it is time to take back up these promises.
But moral outrage is not enough to change the world. Democratic socialists also have a strategy to break the power of capitalists and the bosses who do their bidding: we see a united, militant working class as the leading force for radical social change.
Philadelphia DSA is volunteer-run and member-funded. Our organization relies on the commitment and consistent work of our members. And with several ongoing campaigns and initiatives, nearly a thousand local members and regular weekly activity, there is plenty of work that goes into our day-to-day operations.
For more details about how Philly DSA is run, check out our bylaws and standing rules.
The best way for members to get involved is to participate in our Local's campaigns. Our campaigns are the cornerstone of our work. They advance our political program and demands. The 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign taught us the importance of knocking every door, and getting our political message out to as broad an audience as possible.
Campaigns and ongoing initiatives are typically voted on by the general membership and carried out through their respective committees, commissions and groups. To find out how to get involved in any of our campaigns reach out to [email protected] or check out our upcoming events!
At General Meetings, the Local assembles to hear reports from projects and committees, set policy and work priorities, and to debate and vote on resolutions. General Meetings also feature short political education sessions from socialist intellectuals and organizers from across the country.
These meetings are the center for democratic deliberation and decisions. The assembled membership is the ultimate decision-making body of the Local, so participation of all members is crucial. General Meetings are open to all, but you must be a member in good standing (have paid national dues) in order to vote.
The Steering Committee serves as Philly DSA's highest elected body. Between local conventions, the committee implements the decisions of the general membership, coordinates between the various committees, acts as a representative of the organization, coordinates work with coalition partners, facilitates strategic discussion in the local and decides on matters that require immediate action. The Steering Committee is elected every two years at our Local Convention.
The 2019-2021 Steering Committee is made up of:
Our Local also consists of four permanent committees that help with ongoing work. A committee is simply a body of members appointed or elected by our membership tasked with considering, investigating, or taking action on behalf of the membership. If you'd like to be put in touch with any of our committees, or have any questions about how to get involved, please send a message to [email protected].
For more on our structure and organization, we encourage all members to read and become familiar with the DSA Constitution, Philly DSA's Local Bylaws, and our standing rules.
The communications committee oversees our internal and external communications, including social media, websites, bulletins, and phone-banks, helping promote our campaigns and events.
The political education committee organizes education campaigns and events including discussions, reading groups, and public events that explore the strategy, history, and theory of socialism and support our political campaigns and initiatives.
The member engagement committee oversees new member orientation and membership retention. The committee conducts regular new member orientation events and social events, and helps to coordinate fundraising events.
The electoral committee oversees the process for endorsing candidates for public office, and works with the steering and communications committees on electoral campaign strategies and messaging.
The BuxMont branch of Philly DSA creates campaigns and events in the Montgomery and Bucks county suburbs of Philadelphia. The branch meets monthly to discuss various socialist campaigns and actions, in a suburban context.
The DelCo branch of Philly DSA creates campaigns and events in the Delaware county suburb of Philadelphia. The branch meets monthly to discuss various socialist campaigns and actions, in a suburban context.
The purpose of the Philly DSA Grievance Commission is to receive and review all filed grievance claims in order to determine if they are credible, not credible, or not substantiated. To read more about the process or to file a grievance you can do so here.
Isn’t it time to do something? Get involved with the Local.